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My Caching Adventure Story!


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Wow! What a day! What a day! Whew!


I want to preface this note by saying that last July I went on a hike with a number

of local legends, including Moun10Bike, Right Wing Wacko, TotemLake, Loo of LooandRoo,

MarcusArelius, Runhills (who hiked with the rest of us), Seth!, Adrian, and others.

(I'm sure I've forgotten someone important, like Jeremy and Nate the Great.) :D


During that hike Moun10Bike left two of his coins, but of course we weren't allowed

to take them. As this was my first hike in years I was quite slow, and I had to

recuperate for a day or so. However, the day after our hike two other infamous local

cachers did the same hike and picked up the coins that Moun10Bike had left. One coin,

however, was left logged as being in one of the caches. Having read how frenzied the

rush can be to retrieve one of these items, I got up early the next morning and drove

the 90 or so miles up to find the coin. It wasn't there. :D


I later learned that it actually never had been left there; it was only "logged"

there to add some miles to the coin. Well, *I* understand that. A bit frustrating,

though. :D


So last night before I went to sleep I saw that globalgirl had placed a Moun10Bike

Coin into the TIDE POOL cache. Unfortunately, I did not have time to rush down to

the cache before the park would close, so I made plans to get there first thing in the

morning after the park opened.


So, I woke up at 3:30 AM and checked the cache web page. Yep, the coin was still

listed as being in the cache. All right! I got dressed as quickly as I could and

headed down to the park. Naturally the traffic was light, and so I got there just

after the park opened. I noticed two other cars in the parking lot, and so I

wondered if someone else was already headed to the cache.


No problem. I brought my bike! :D


I got the bike out of the car, strapped on my fanny pack (with Travel Bugs to trade

for the coin) and headed towards the cache. Now, being that it was just after 4 AM

it was *rather* dark, but I thought I could see OK. I decided to not ride down on

the sidewalk lest I run into someone on foot, so I was on the "road".


Note: at the top of the hill the "posts" that prevent cars from driving down the

road were NOT installed. So maybe a maintenance person is working. Big deal. I

was approaching the end of the hill when suddenly


** WHAM!! **


I smashed into something and went flying over the bicycle and landed on the pavement!

The bicycle landed ahead of me.


I lay on the ground moaning, but not cursing, wondering if I had managed to break my leg.

After about a minute I had recovered enough that I could check my leg. I reached down

to feel it, and my hadn came away wet, but I didn't feel any bone poking out of place.


I slowly got back to my feet, with a painful leg, and went over to check the bike.

In the dim light it *looked* OK, but when I tried to ride it wouldn't work. I walked

over to a pool of light where I could see that the chain was jammed between the wheel.

After a bit of tugging I managed to get it free and put back into place. Amazingly I

could still ride it! The foot pads were bent out of place, and the rear wheel isn't

straight, but it was easier on my leg than walking.


Now, what kind of a dedicated cacher would I be if I let a little fall deter me from

going after the coveted Moun10Bike coin? Hmm? Of course I went on the the cache!


(dramatic pause)


but... but... it wasn't there, and no notes about it either. I checked twice, then put

the cache back together, and rode back to my car. The leg was aching a bit, but I was

able to drive home. I got there a bit after 5 AM. I put the bike away. I re-installed

the seat that I had removed from the car, and went into the house. Shortly after that

I went into the bathroom to check on the cut. I discovered a large hole in my pants,

and when I removed them I was quite shocked to find that I had a hole in my leg roughly

the size of the last joint of my index finger! I didn't think that the flesh on the

front of the lower leg was that deep. I only recall feeling bone right beneath the

skin. Clearly, however, this was not something I should try to fix on my own.


I woke up my father and asked him to take a look at it. (He is a physician, but he

usually works with old people. when I was in Jr. High school he worked in the Emergency

Room.) At first he thought that this was a simple gouge, but then as we cleaned it up

a bit he saw how deep it was and thought that I needed to go get some stitches. He

decided to drive me to the ER.


Before we left, though, he asked if I had medical insurance. Well, no. Not since my

previous job dried up. A visit to the ER would run me roughly $1000.00! Wow! He

offered to sew me up himself. The major difference between what he would do and what

the ER would do is that at the ER they would "trim" the opening to make a nice straight

line for a scar. He hadn't done that for a while, and so let me decided if I cared if

my (future) scar looked really neat. I didn't.


As he prepared to work on the leg he told me that "this was going to hurt". He was

about to inject some local anesthetic into the leg. Curiously I didn't feel it until

he was about 300 degrees around the opening, and even that didn't hurt much. Cleaning

the wound, now *that* hurt! The hole is so deep that it is below where the anesthetic

was! That hot water hurt!


Once that was done it was time for the stitches. My skin on the front of my leg it

very tough, and it was difficult to pierce it with the needle. I now have 6 stiches

in my leg, and an indentation where there is no flesh beneath the skin.


After a brief rest we went home. I began to notice how sore my left shoulder was

feeling, and I was beginning to feel really tired, and so I decided to take a nap.

Before I could, though, I had to clear the bed.


That was when I rememebred the fanny pack. Oh no! I was carrying several Travel

Bugs in there! I was worried that my accident would have destroyed them. To my

relief, none of the Travel Bugs showed any sign of damage! :blink:


That was not the case, however, for the rest of the items therein. My Olympus

Digital Camera is totally smashed to pieces. My old Boy Scouts of America compass

is broken. A few other minor odds-and-ends were also bumped a bit, but none of it

was as important/valuable as those two things.


Hmph. Camera roughly $350. Compass roughly $20. Bike roughly $400. Undamaged

TBs: priceless!


Time to rest. The pain in the shoulder made getting comfortable on the bed really

difficult, but I finally managed to get some sleep. After a couple of hours a phone

call woke me, and after that it was time to go to work. (I had called and left a

message earlier.) I was surprised at how little the leg was bothering me, and how

much the shoulder was! My back started to ache, too. Over the course of the day I

noticed my sides beginning to ache, too. I'm sure the hard landing didn't help.


A bit after 2 PM I noticed that the coin has disappeared from the cache. I found

that the another infamous local cacher (nolenator) had retrived it. Curious as to

when he had picked it up I sent him a note. (I didn't tell him then about my

accident.) Apparently this was another case of the coin not being left in the

physical cache, but merely logically left there.


I think nolenator thought I was accusing him of being unfair, but that was not the

case at all. I was merely curious as to whether or not I had once again chased a

phantom Moun10Bike coin. It seems I had.


I got back to work.


All day long I had been thinking that I should call the Seattle Parks and Recreation

department, and I finally remembered to do so just before 5 PM. I wanted to file a

suggestion that they install a light in the park that would illuminate the area where

I crashed so that no one else would suffer from a similar (or worse) accident than

I had. The fellow on the line was amazed at how well I was taking this. He expected

that someone in my condition would be screaming bloody murder.


I suppose I am a bit surprised, too. However last night a dear friend sent me some

e-mail which was about thankfulness. While I was out in the park this morning, struggling

to stand, I remembered that e-mail. I realized then that I was quite blessed.


I did NOT break my leg.

I did NOT have a skull fracture.

I did NOT break my back.

I was NOT in unbearable pain

I had NOT died. (At least, I don't think I did.)


What do I have to complain about?


Will I chase after another phantom coin? Probably. Will I ever catch an elusive

Moun10Bike coin? Probably not. It's not about the numbers, though, is it? :D

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LOL, thanks for the great post. I'm glad you weren't hurt too bad. I can symphasize with you on the M10Coin. I just about destroyed my car trying for one near Snoqualmie Pass last month and missed it by 30 mins. I found one easily the following week, so they are out there. Timing is everything. I'll hold on to the one I found and return it to a cache somewhere down the line. IMHO, I think it's selfish to rathole them as some do. I see some out there with old series and new series. Even some with 3!....should be a law against that....:blink: I hope you find one and it's a worthy one that isn't "handed off" like some are. It really doesn't mean anything if it's given to you.

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WOW! That's a great post. The things we go through to obtain a precious Moun10Bike coin. Keep trying and you WILL get one.


I was at Lily Point-Roberts right after Moun10Bike visited and failed to notice that there was a version 2 coin inside! Imagine me kicking myself. Since the coin was still logged into that cache a week later I even drove all the way back up there, was scrutinized at the international border twice in and twice out, and the coin had been removed the day prior and not logged out online! Well I finally got one at GCD by getting up at dawn like you did and going after it in the rain. Since I have it I dont have to chase them anymore and I'm glad about that. It is so frustrating to chase phantoms. People need to log the darn things out the same day they remove them, and not log them into caches at all (especially overnight) if they aren't going to leave them.


BTW I have crashed on my bike in the past and could actually feel the pain as I read your report. I wish you a speedy recovery and a REAL coin waiting for you on your next attempt! Look for caches where Moun10Bike himself has dropped a coin and you'll know it's for real.

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Wow! Sounds almost like the frenzy to get a jeep.


It also highlights one of my pet peeves. It's okay to log a traveler in and out of a cache to put miles on it/document it's travels/whatever, BUT


If you have time to log it in, YOU HAVE TIME TO LOG IT OUT!


I realize that people may forget to do that, but with things like a M10B coin or jeep that will cause a frenzy, we need to be more careful about timely logs.

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Ah, I see I forgot to include a minor detail -- like, what did I hit!


I'm sure you've all seen the kind of thing that I hit. When "they" build a road, but they don't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry to use it, they install thee removable posts that are usually padlocked to the ground. The "authorized" persons have a key to the lock, and can remove the posts to gain access to the road. I've seen large wooden posts, maybe 10x10, along the Burke Gillman trail. (At least, that's what I remember.)


Anyway these posts were much smaller. I think that they were round pipes, maybe 3 inches in diameter. I didn't go and look at them very carefully, you understand.


Pepper, as for your GPSr, well, that's another thing for which I am thankful. So far the only damage that I've found has been to my own person and personal property. I had left your GPSr at home. I figured I knew where the cache was, and so didn't use it. I remember thinking, as I was getting out of the car, that maybe I should have brought it along, but then also remembered that I would have had to dig up the coordinates as well.


It is just before 7 AM as I write this note. I woke up sans alarm, and I ache all over! The Tylenol has worn off, but it's time to take more as well as the antibiotic. The shoulder really hurts, as does my neck. I suppose it's whiplash.


Another friend sent me a "hey, what's up?" query yesterday, but I wasn't at the computer then. So when I woke up I saw that he was logged on so started to chat with him. His commented that the "skin and bone" text was gross. Sorry, perhaps that was a bit unclear. What I meant was this: if you feel your shin (those of you who do NOT have a broken leg, that is :blink:) you feel your leg bone. I never really noticed the muscle in the front of my leg before. I've just noticed the bone as it is so prominent. In fact as I was writing this I felt down my left shin and was quite surprised to feel some muscle to the side of the bone. I think normally when I've done this I have run my hand down the bone so I never noticed the muscle. Odd.


Anyway, time to see if I can rest a bit more. Thanks, people.

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I must add my appologies here. GG and I were out the day before having a blast and trading Moun10Bike coins and YJTB because she hadn't had a coin and I hadn't had jeep ya know. By the time she logged her part I was already sound asleep in my cozy bed. I finished my part of logging in the early morning, likely about the same time NBJ was crashing to the pavement. Sorry dude, you gotta know I wouldn't want anybody to get hurt playing this game. A little look at a the coins page and you would have noticed that I like to pass it to friends when I am out caching with them. Sharing the love ya know. I hope you heal quickly. Peace, Nolenator

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Goodness I too am so sorry for contributing to your nocturnal (literally fly-by-night?) mishap NBJP. I'm such a dufus noobie it took me awhile that night to figure out how to log the coin. And yes, it surely "doesn't count" if someonw hands it to ya. But the fun the PM and I had fondling/trading the precious jeep/coin, not to mention racing 'round the Something Evil... circuit amid the autumn splendor was surely - priceless.


Geez, that Tide Pool cache is lately becoming quite pricey, cuz... if it's any small consolation, I lost my prescription lenses there that day too.


Indeed, even in my limited experience, this caching additiction can be not only quite spendy, but also potentially dangerous. In nary 3 months of it, I've already racked up a $200 loss of lenses plus a $100+ ticket in Kirkland (for creeping forward across a pedestrian right-of-way - geez, and she wasn't even sporting a yellow flag) whilst obsessed with the MI Cachistan caper.


And yes, let's all be thankful yours was but a bicycle mishap. No doubt decidedly painful and scarey, but... g-knows it seems only a matter of time/a miracle one of us hasn't driven off a cliff or maimed a family of muggles out for a Sunday's drive - in our blind haste to nab a silly geo trinket.


Surely hope you feel better quickly NBJP, and are back out on the trail soon.

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NBJPoppa, great story and great attitude. I know just how you feel, as I've chased after those guys before. They are even more elusive down our way. If you e-mail me your snail-mail address, I'd be happy to send you one of our signature smashed pennies. Not anywhere as neat as a moun10bike coin and they only track on my site and don't give you a new icon in your stats page, but it's all I got. :blink:



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A brief update:


It is unclear to me how well the leg is healing. I still don't feel much around the actual hole itself, but then again I don't go poking at it very often. I just touched it lightly and there *is* sensation -- slight pain, but not bad. A lot of the skin seems to have "vanished", and it looks like new skin is beginning to grow around the hole. I suppose it will eventually fill in. One problem is that the hole itself is not sealed, and so I have to keep soap and water off of it when I shower. I've found that plastic wrap and duct tape do a pretty good job here. :o


The leg bone doesn't bother me much at all -- except when I lie down at night to go to sleep. I haven't figured that one out. It's quite odd.


The shoulder seems to be getting better, but it, too, is painful when I try to sleep.


On the other hand, I replaced the brakes on my van yesterday, and that didn't bother me too much. (Other than the cold and wet.)


Re: the camera. I put the batteries back in to see if it was only the cover (and screen) that were broken, but it didn't work at all. I had called Olympus last week to inquire about the possibility of repairing it, and was quoted a flat fee of $169.xx if it was fixable. That didn't sound too bad, but then I saw a new Olympus digital camera advertised for $179.


The thing I like about the old camera is that it *only* has a resolution of 1.3 Mpixels. The low end of newer cameras seems to be around 3.2 Mpixels. I thought that this would mean that the JPG image files would be roughly 6 times larger than those produced by the old camera. The fellow from Olympus, though, said that he thought that one could reduce the resolution on the newer models.


So I'm wondering if anyone knows for a fact if this is (or isn't) true. What size is the JPG file when you copy it from the camera memory to a PC? Typically my files have been from 240 KB to 450 KB, depending on the complexity of the image, with most being in the 250 KB range.


As for the bicycle, well I haven't had it looked at yet. I prefer to carry it in my van, which I wasn't driving due to worn pads.



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So I'm wondering if anyone knows for a fact if this is (or isn't) true. What size is the JPG file when you copy it from the camera memory to a PC? Typically my files have been from 240 KB to 450 KB, depending on the complexity of the image, with most being in the 250 KB range.




With most digital cameras, and even my old Olympus 1.3 you could change the image resolution to what ever you choose. I'm using a 5.0 megapixel camera now and generally have the resolution set to 3.2.

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